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Career Story: Manager Of Information Technology At A Software Company

Manager Of Information Technology At A Software Company

Job Title: Manager Of Information Technology

Type of Company: My company makes a suite of software to monitor virtualized computer environments.

Education: BS, Athletic Training, Springfield College •• MS, Computer Information Services, Boston University

Previous Experience: I was a systems administrator at a couple of high tech companies.

Job Tasks: My role as the IT manager of a small company means I pretty much do everything related to maintaining the computer and network systems for my company. I also oversee the budget and purchasing for our technology expenses: new servers, computers, and network equipment. I have one employee who works for me and undertakes projects under my guidance and supervision.

My typical day is usually split between fixing problems that users are having -- mostly upgrading software or troubleshooting systems -- and planning and installing new technology to help the business. One recent example was installing a new wiki, which is a website where everyone in the company can add content and updates. This allows for central sharing of information and ideas. To get this done I had to select the correct server and make sure it was powerful enough to run the software. I then had to install and test the software to make sure it was what the company wants and would run without problems.

One of my other jobs is to maintain the budget for technology. This requires me to decide when to update or replace computers, servers and software. I need to review all sorts of things: internet access costs, our phone bills, and any support contracts we have to pay for. My goal is to provide the most cost-effective and efficient services. Part of this requires me to negotiate with vendors to get my company the best deal that I can.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I love my job because I am constantly learning. Technology changes constantly and I have to stay up-to-date and I am constantly attending special training for software and systems. I also like solving problems and my job presents me with new puzzles to tackle every day that require research and troubleshooting.

The constant learning can also be a negative; sometimes it can be overwhelming. My job is also a service job, people come to me for help. It can be frustrating helping people with the same problem for the fifth time. Sometimes you need to grin and bear it.

Job Tips: Information technology is a funny field. Although it is very technical people get into it from many different places. A college education is not strictly required, and a lot of IT folks forgo it. This will limit you in your career. There may be great entry-level jobs but you'll soon be sick of doing phone support or other low level jobs. Start by getting a degree you'll get training and experience with your first job.

Additional Thoughts: I am a generalist which means I am not an expert in any one technological discipline. There are many places to focus in my field; networking, programming, databases. In the end you have to like technology, solving problems, and learning new things.

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